None of these behaviors occur anymore. Since Holly came into Ariel’s life, she has brought out his softness, gentleness, and love. Ariel is now more patient and understanding; he does well in school and learns in an advance class. Socially, he is a very loved teenager.
Ariel is devoted to Holly and has become sensitive and attentive to her needs. She is Ariel’s responsibility. He cares for her daily needs – feeding Holly, taking her on walks three times a day, playing, grooming, and loving her. This feeling of being in control is something that has grounded Ariel. During this pandemic with the lockdowns, and closure of the schools, Ariel must make sure that Holly is exercised and is able to release her energies. These daily routines have given him structure and outside activities which were not otherwise available to him during these times. The bond between them is resolute and unwavering.
The one characteristic Ariel most wanted in a dog was the ability to fetch. Before Holly came into his life, he dreamt of someday having a dog that fetches. And Holly loves to fetch. So much so that when she retrieves more than one ball, she will try to get them all into her mouth at the same time. If the ball is too big then she will carry it between her teeth, if necessary, will push the ball with her paws. He is also training Holly to do some tricks upon command.
Holly brings joy into Ariel’s life. In the past, she would rest her head on his lap to calm him after he acted out. Now she does that simply for attention. “It’s hard not to immediately become soft like a marshmallow near her. How can you not?”
The gratitude that the whole family feels for the Israel Guide Dog Center is deep. They are extremely grateful to have had the opportunity to bring Holly into their lives. For Ariel, it was nothing less than life- changing. As Yael says, the “Center creates miracles and changes life. We will forever be in their debt.”